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Summer is officially here, and we all enjoy spending nice, sunny days outside with our four- legged-fur-babies! There is nothing better than being able to take them along on hikes and other outdoor adventures! With temperatures rising and less clouds in the sky to block us from that hot sun, we have to think about the dangers it could cause for our beloved pet. Taking the proper precaution is key to allowing for fun in the sun all summer long!
First and foremost, never ever leave your pet in the car. Many of us enjoy taking our pet on car rides and quick errands, but during early summer days temperatures can exceed 120 degrees in minutes -- even with the windows cracked. Not only that, but your quick trip to the store or friend's house may take longer than expected! Leaving your pet in the car could create a very dangerous situation for your pet and can lead to things like heat stroke.
That brings us to our next tip! Our dogs unfortunately cannot talk. They can’t tell us when they are hot and tired and quite frankly, oftentimes they don’t even know when they need a break. As pet owners, it is our responsibility to stop frequently for shaded breaks and offer plenty of water to them! Offering water helps to cool them down and it is important to fill their bowls frequently to avoid heat stroke and illness. Some signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, vomiting, warm and dry skin, collapsing, and rapid heartbeat. If your pet is showing any signs, it is important that you call your veterinarian immediately. To help lower their body temperature you can take cold towels and apply it to their skin where they don’t have fur. This includes their tips and backs of ears, inner thighs, and stomach. DO NOT use ice as this could possibly worsen their situation. You could also use a fan to help lower their body temperature, but it is important you speak with your vet as well.
While our dog is exercising, it is important for us to protect their paws from hot surfaces. The pavement and sidewalks can get HOT. We recommend trying to walk your dog in the shade and on the grass whenever possible. If you can’t walk on the ground barefoot, neither can your dog! You can also lessen the chance of your dog burning their paws by going out early in the morning or later in the evening.
As pet owners, we all have one thing in common and that is to provide the best life possible for our beloved pets and that means having the proper knowledge for summer dog care and cat care. Although we want to take them on that hike or get out to the dog park, if temperatures are high, it may just be best to wait until next time or go on a different day. After all, animals can get sick quickly on hot days, even if they are in the shade. We hope these tips help you and your pet have a great summer and stay cool!